Best Family Cycle Trails in Cornwall

Published: Friday 7th Feb 2020

Whether you are looking to retrace heritage trails, whip through emerald woodland, cut along the coast or tour the whole length of Cornwall, there are a huge number of cycle trails weaving their way across the county. From stabilisers to high-speed pursuits, find the right trail to meet your biking needs and look forward to unforgettable adventures a la Cornwall.

Cardinham Woods

One of the best cycle trails in Cornwall, the huge network of routes around Cardinham Woods is a real draw for many keen cyclists. Beginning with a number of family-friendly trails and reaching a gear-crunching crescendo with the infamous 12km Bodmin Beast (experienced mountain bikers only!), Cardinham Woods should definitely be on your list. After your ride, wind down with a bite to eat in the excellent Woods Café who serve some of the best hot chocolate in Cornwall

Goss Moor Cycle Trail

A lovely one for a gentle push around tranquil countryside, the Goss Moor Cycle Trail proffers 12km of largely flat and easy surfaces. Explore this stunning National Nature Reserve, taking in the range of rare plants and animals who call the area home. There is certainly ample to capture your attention here, and if you feel like continuing, you can also make use of the linking routes onto nearby Tregoss Moor, too. 

Lanhydrock Bike Trail

From spinning along the flat to pushing up the more challenging, hillier routes, Lanhydrock has something for everyone. Carved with tailored-made bike trails that cater for all abilities, families with younger children and those less confident can opt for the easier green-grade trail which, at 2.5km long, is wide and well-surfaced and makes for a dreamy run. Or, for those wanting more of a challenge, there are number of blue-grade trails too which include some fun technical sections. 

Penrose Estate

One of those places that provides an almost bubble-like effect, fringed by thick blankets of trees before emerging at Loe Bar, the Penrose Estate is fantastic for bikers. Boasting smooth, tarmacked surfaces, a great café en-route and the chance to further your ride and keep going all the way to Porthleven, this is one you will keep coming back for. If you don’t have your own wheels, you can easily hire bikes from Porthleven Cycle Hire, who have a base in Helston. 

Seaton Valley Countryside Park

A short 2-mile track that leads you around the picturesque Seaton Valley Countryside Park, this is another fantastic option if you have youngsters in tow. Set not far from Looe, this cycle route begins at the car park and leads you around the park, following the River Seaton for a while. Stop off at one of the park’s picnic areas to refuel before continuing on your way. 

Tamar Trails

Straddling the Devon and Cornwall border, the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and a truly fascinating area to explore by bike. Starting at the Tamar Trails Centre, seize the opportunity to uncover the 25km of multi-grade trails, weaving past old mines, knotted woodland and burbling streams. 

The Clay Trails

Comprising a series of excellent cycle trails through mid-Cornwall’s China Clay Country, you will be spoilt for choices for places to spin here. First opened in 2005, these trails are mostly easily accessible although they offer little in the way of facilities, often cutting through remote swathes. Rarely crowded, you can take in the area’s dramatic scenery, including surreal turquoise dams coloured by mica particles, beautiful wildlife and fascinating history all at your own pace. 

The Camel Trail

One of the country’s most well-known cycle trails, the Camel Trail follows a disused railway between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Stretching for nearly 30km, the flat, gentle route is perfect for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros and affords some of the most stunning views of the coast along the way. Choose your own section of the route or complete the whole thing – there are plenty of places to stop along the way for food and refreshments, plus a cosy bed

The Coast to Coast Route

This epic Coast to Coast cycle route starts in Portreath on Cornwall’s north coast and finishes in the picture-perfect creekside village of Devoran. Boasting around 18km of mostly traffic-free cycling along a former mineral railway track, it is a superb way to spend a day. Relish an uninterrupted ride through gorgeous scenery, and once you’ve reached the end, treat yourself to a well-deserved drink in Devoran’s great local pub. 

The Cornish Way

If you are ready for the big one, look no further than the Cornish Way. The longest cycle route in Cornwall, this epic journey of over 200km will lead you from Land’s End all the way to Bude. Following the National Cycle Route No 3, you will pass a huge number of impossibly pretty villages, towns, Cornwall’s industrial heartland, rivers and coast, world-famous landmarks and more photo-worthy scenes than you could shake a camera at. A worthy challenge, this ride is a lifetime achievement!

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